Saturday, November 13, 2010

We didn’t get a real early start this morning as it was too cold to want to get going! John finally started getting us hooked up around 9:15 and then he went over to get propane but they owners were out until 10, so we waited for them to return so we could get our empty tank filled. So, by the time we got on the road it was about 10:30.

Crossing the Missouri River - Again

We had a good drive today, went around Kansas City and picked up I-35 to Emporium KS where we picked up the Kansas toll road. We took the toll road to Witchita, about 100 miles, and it cost us $12.25 – YIKES, a three axle trailer is expensive on those darn toll roads and bridges!! The trip through Witchita was great and we arrived at Pratt KS around 5 p.m.

We are at the Evergreen Motel & RV Park, not the greatest place but it has full hookups and free wi-fi so at least we check our e-mail and surf the net. There is no cable TV and the antenna is only picking up one channel so we are limited in what we can watch, but that doesn’t bother me at all as I’m not a great TV fan anyways. The park is full which surprised us until we realized they are all hunters, guess this hunting season and this is a good area for hunting.

No pictures today, not a lot of interesting scenery - lots of farmland.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today was as forecast, a wet miserable day and much cooler. John was off this morning to get the differential oil changed and it turned out to be an effort in frustration before it was finished. When they said it was ready he got in the truck and found there were 3 quarts of oil left over, seeing as it takes 8 quarts and that is what he had bought it took him a while to convince them that it wasn’t filled and to get it back up and recheck the dip stick – guess what it wasn’t full!! They then put in the rest of the oil and he got out of there but not before he was pretty ticked off, it sure leaves you hoping you never have to return to this dealer for work again.

I had a very quiet day, reading and on the computer – not very exciting.

Tonight we went to Applebee’s for dinner – very good and it was nice not to have to cook. We were seated at a table beside a couple with 4 very small children, between the ages of 1 and 4 I would guess, and we couldn’t believe how well behaved they were, I told the parents that when they were leaving.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today is Remembrance Day and we remember those who fought to give us freedom.

Today is also John’s sister Barb’s birthday, happy birthday Barb and we hope you enjoy your dinner with friends tonight.

Today was much cooler with a high of 53F (11C) but it was mostly sunny so not a bad day at all.

Independence MO is the hometown of Harry S. Truman and his home is a National Site so we thought we would drive down and check it out. We had toured the National Site in Johnson City TX for LBJ and found it very interesting so we were hoping to find the same for Truman – NOT! We went to the National Site office and were told that we could get a tour of the house at 4:30, the last one of the day, so we passed on that as it was only 11:30 when we got there. They had a video that we watched and what a disappointment, the video barely recognized that he was President of the United States, except to say he missed his home when he had to be in Washington, and it was all about the house he lived in. There was no mention of any of the things he accomplished while President or what the world was going through at the time – extremely disappointing!

We drove around a bit but Independence seemed like it has seen better days although we did see this church and the spire was really different – we think it is a Mormon Church. Also there were some pretty trees with their leaves still on and we saw one really nice looking hold home.

Church Spire

Pretty Older Home

Missouri River at Independence MO

Casino On Missouri River

Back in St. Joseph we did a bit of shopping then came home, not a real exciting day but nevertheless an enjoyable one. The rain has started and tomorrow is supposed to be cool and rainy – oh joy! Fortunately tonight’s dinner was left overs so John didn’t have to go out in the rain to grill.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today is my brother Art's birthday, happy birthday Art and hope you are enjoying your cruise.

Weather wise today was another nice, mainly sunny, day but not as warm as it has been - the high today was 63F (17C) so still not too bad.

We headed out this morning with our first stop at Mr. Dodge to see about getting the oil in the differential changed but when they quoted a price of $29/quart, and it takes 8 quarts, John said thanks but no thanks. John wants to use Amsoil Severe Gear Oil as it is supposed to be the best so we stopped at a few auto parts places to check out the cost and couldn’t find it for less than $22/quart so we gave up on that.

We wanted to check out a couple of the historical sights but the Patee House Museum which looked interesting was closed, open on Saturdays only. Okay, on to the next one which was open, this was the St. Joseph Museum which include the Glore Psychiatric Museum and the Black Archives Museum, it cost us $5 as we had a coupon for one free admittance and it was certainly worth it.

The Glore Psychiatiric Museum was really interesting but my heart bled for any person who was committed to one of these institutions, what torture they put them through. The pictures tell the story.

They had one patient who liked to swallow small objects and when they operated on the person this is what they found (a listing of the contents and a picture). The person died on the operating table.

Hydra Therapy


Restraining Chair

Utica Crib

People were kept like this for months or even years at a time

Where the word 'Bedlam" came from

The Pony Express started here in St. Joseph and lasted for all of 18 months. The museum had pictures of all the riders for the express and where they were from and there was one from Prince Edward Island. There was also this fellow, George Washington Perkins, wonder if he was a distant relative!

When we got home John got on the internet to check out the oil for the differential and found a fellow about 15 miles from here who sold it for $11/quart – wow, what a difference. He gave us directions to his place so we headed out to pick it up and then on the way back stopped at Mr. Dodge and made an appointment for Friday morning to have it changed.

This evening is another quiet one, dinner and reading or watching TV.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boy, I hate repeating myself but today was another spectacular day – sunny with a high of 21C (72F), wow, that’s not too shabby for November!

Today we drove across Missouri, from the Mississippi River in the east to the Missouri River in the west and are now in St. Joseph, MO. The trip today was good, we drove Highway 36 all the way and it was a divided 4 lane highway with little traffic – just the way we like it! The only down side to the drive was that there were no rest areas, truck stops or picnic areas the whole way, we had to get off the highway once to make a quick stop.

There are no pictures today as it was pretty well the same countryside we have seen for the last four days – lots of farm land with small towns along the way.

We are at Beacon RV Park in St. Joseph and will be here for a few days. The park is quiet but rather old infrastructure and uneven sites, on the positive side the owners were very friendly and helpful and the wi-fi is excellent, worth the price of $1.50/night.

Tomorrow will be an exploring day, hopefully I will have more to write about and some pictures so stay tuned. The weather is supposed to be sunny again but cooler – oh well, I knew this great stuff was too good to last!!

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today was another absolutely gorgeous day, lots of sunshine and a high of 20C (70F) – nothing to complain about there.

We headed into Hannibal today to see what there is to see, as usual this time of year most of the attractions are closed – i.e. no river boat cruises, etc. so we drove around Hannibal for a bit and checked out the historical district – nothing that drew our attention there. We stopped to take a picture of the statute of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn and climbed up the first section of steps to the old Mark Twain Bridge across the Mississippi, this bridge was replaced in 2000 and the structure across the river was demolished but the original part in Hannibal has been preserved.

Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn Statute

Old Mark Twain Memorial Bridge

Mississippi River at Hannibal

We then found the shopping malls and stopped at J C Penney where I managed to find a couple of long sleeved tops on sale, then it was on to Wally World for a couple of things we didn’t get at the last stop.

We decided to take Highway 79 back as it runs along the river and is named the “The Little Dixie Highway of the Great River”, an interesting name. There was another lock along this section of Highway so we detoured off to check it out but there was no viewing section and no barges in sight so we carried on. We then found a lookout with a nice view of the Mississippi and then a couple of miles down the road we ran into a detour which took us a long way back to the main highway (and no, Kelly, I was not using the GPS for this!!). So much for the scenic drive all the way home!

View from Lookout

Looking Across to Illinois

We finally got home and I decided to do a couple of loads of laundry while John got us hooked up, the laundry cost $3.50 to wash & dry two loads, sure a difference from Green Acre in Waterloo where it cost $8.00 for the same things.

While I was taking the laundry over I noticed a new trailer had arrived, it was from Ontario and was a Smart Car pulling a VERY SMALL tent trailer, quite the combination! Just chatted for a minute and they are from north of Toronto and are heading for Austin, TX, sure hope they get nice weather as I think it would be very cold in the tent trailer if they hit temperatures like we had last Saturday night.

John grilled burgers for dinner and I made coleslaw, an easy but good dinner. Tonight is web surfing and watching TV.

We have no cell phone service here so I haven’t been able to talk to our children, hopefully tomorrow we will have some service.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a difference a day makes, the temperature last night didn’t go below freezing and we woke up this morning to brilliant sunshine – now this is more like what we are looking for!!

We enjoyed the two hour gain in time and this morning we didn’t rush to leave as we were only going 305 km (189 miles). We arrived at Cozy C RV Campground at Bowling Green MO about 1:30 after a quiet drive through central Illinois. We were on I-72 for most of the trip and there was very little traffic, sure do like these kind of days. Cozy C is a nice little campground on Highway 54 just east of Bowling Green, it has very long pull thrus and at this time of year it is quite quiet, only about 6 other RV’s here. The wi-fi isn’t very good, sigh, but I am kind of getting used to that, don’t know if I will be able to post this tonight, I might have to add the pictures later.

Crossing the Illinois River

Court House at Pittfield IL

A Single Windmill

Crossing the Mississippi

When we were checking in I asked the owner about things to do in the area and he mentioned the lock on the Mississippi River at Clarksville was interesting. Now, we had no idea there were locks along the Mississippi but after setting up we headed to Clarksville to check it out and found out that there are 28 locks between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis and the one we visited was lock no. 24.

We lucked out as there was a barge heading south so we got to watch it going through the lock, it turns out this lock is only 600’ long and the barge was 1200’ so they had to break the barge into two groups to pass through the lock separately, this is called a double lockage and can take up to two hours. We watched the first half go through but didn’t wait for the second half as we wanted to be home before dark but it was very interesting to watch. As the barge was approaching the lock another barge went out and pushed it into line for the lock, the current is so strong the it tends to push the barge away from the lock. There was another barge waiting to go north so it is still a busy time along the Mississippi. I was chatting with a couple of the workers and they said the boats are lowered about 4-5’ in the lock – it doesn’t seem like a lot but I guess it really is.

Dam at Clarksville

Barge Approaching Lock

Entering the Lock

Front of Barge Going By Us

Now They Are In The Lock

They've Been Broken - You Can See the Gate Between the Barges

The First Half Exiting the Lock

Looking Down on Barges In the Lock

Tug Waiting to Enter Lock

Today we had a high of 70F (20C) – sure can’t ask for much better than that for the 7th of November and apparently it is supposed to be like this for about 4 or 5 more days, we sure won’t complain if it stays like this!

Five years ago today we were in an accident on I-95 at Rocky Mount NC, we lost our trailer, two people were killed instantly but John and I weren’t hurt; the Lord was looking after us big time that day and we are so very thankful that we survived and continue to enjoy traveling in our Airstream and finding all these new and wonderful places to visit and enjoy.

John grilled salmon for dinner tonight – it was very yummy and it was a great night for grilling.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another good tomorrow.